CHICAGOâ€”Neal Wyatt, doctoral candidate in the media, art and text program at Virginia Commonwealth University, is the distinguished recipient of the 2013 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award â€” the highest honor for significant contributions to the field of reference librarianship presented by the Reference & User Services Association (RUSA).
The award, which is generously sponsored by Gale Cengage Learning, is bestowed annually upon an individual for his or her excellence in reference services. Wyatt was selected for her multiple influences and contributions to the field through her writing, teaching, service to and leadership in RUSA. As a direct result of her work, readersâ€™ advisory services have been re-established as an important component of current reference work.
Wyatt launched the Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Forum in 2009 â€” a recurring conference program that brings together theorists and practitioners from disparate fields to explore the expansion of RA boundaries. Her writing includes the “Library Journal” series “Reinventing RA,” her influential book “The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Nonfiction,” (ALA, 2007) and her monthly “Library Journal” column “Crossroads.” As a teacher and presenter, she demonstrates and passionately shares creative uses of technology for librarians across the RA spectrum. Her efforts have rekindled the passionate fire of RA service, elevating it to a prominent role in the public library setting, as well as other library environments. Wyatt has served as chair of the Collection Development and Evaluation SectionÂ (CODES) and President of RUSA where, as a tireless and effective leader, she left a significant legacy of creativity and inclusivity.
The Mudge Award, a citation and $5,000 cash prize, will be presented at the RUSA Awards Reception, scheduled for 5 – 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 30 as a part of RUSA’s events at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The exact location of this event will be announced in late spring. For more information, visit the RUSA websiteÂ or the Annual Conference website.
The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readersâ€™ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at www.ala.org/rusa.